Thailand plans to charge $30 departure tax for outbound travelers

By Hoang Phong   May 9, 2023 | 07:43 pm PT
Thailand plans to charge $30 departure tax for outbound travelers
Tourists wait for their boats in Phuket, Thailand. Photo by Reuters
Thais and foreign permanent residents in Thailand have been asked for their opinion on a government proposal of collecting departure tax of 1,000 baht ($30) to prevent locals from spending excessively abroad.

The department posted the public hearing questionnaire on its website, saying it wants to listen to public opinion about an emergency decree on a departure levy, Bangkok Post reported.

According to the questionnaire, Thai citizens and foreign permanent residents would be required to pay a departure tax of 1,000 baht for air travel and 500 baht for land and sea travel.

"The principle and the levy rate make no sense at all, as Thailand has never had a problem related to a trade deficit in tourism, with inbound income making up 70% of the total, compared with 30% outbound expenditure," said Charoen Wangananont, president of the Thai Travel Agents Association.

The levy collection is unrealistic. If the government wanted to propose such a tax, it should carefully assess the consequences because it could have a major effect on tourism, he added.

Southeast Asia’s second largest economy Thailand last month delayed imposing a 300-baht (US$8.72) entry fee on foreign tourists arriving by air to September instead of June, due to problems implementing the levy.

It received 8.6 million foreign arrivals in the January-April period, with spending of 353 billion baht (US$10.45 billion).

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